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About the Author
Jennifer is married to Greg. They have five kids.

Caption this photo contest

I took this photo of Greg while he was checking his iPhone email while laying down.  We WERE having a conversation.  In fact, I just asked if he could help me out and feed our youngest son.  I couldn’t help but notice his amazing ability to remain almost frozen in this exact position for several minutes.  And then I looked even closer and noticed his eyes.  

In all my years of seeing him sleep, I’ve never found him in this position before.  So, just to make things a little fun, I thought I would open this photo up for a caption contest.  So if you desire, go ahead and leave your caption blurbs in our comment section of this post!

A Bird in the Oven is Worth More Than Two in the Fridge

We left the turkey in the bucket with the brine overnight out on a table on our patio last night. Glad we don’t have raccoons or bears.

After bringing it inside, I cleaned it off, patted it dry, and mixed together a rub of a little salt, pepper, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, and a few other herbs. Smelled so good!

Then, using a trick I saw on Food Network, I dug into the skin and separated it a bit from the turkey meat itself. We always wondered why the dry rub never quite penetrated the bird in the past as much as we’d expect it to. Well, apparently that pesky skin gets in the way.

So after making enough space to get my hand in there, we poured in some vegetable oil between the skin and bird, then rubbed the herb mix in there as best I could.

We then stuck as many onions, carrots, turnips, and pieces of celery as we could all around the turkey and then I drizzled the skin with butter.

Once that was all done, we stuck the bird in the oven for the first 30 minute round of heating.

Thanksgiving is under way!

Now I’m going to finally drink my first cup of decaf and relax a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Walter’s in Surgery

Today is Walter’s big day for surgery. He’s been suffering from recurring strep throat for a long time and this surgery should make his life a bit easier. He has been very brave and relaxed.

As soon as we made it to his “holding” room, he was immediately drawn to the television hanging from the ceiling playing cartoons. You could have poked him with needles and he wouldn’t have cared a bit. You can plainly see his tv joy with this picture.

The bottom photo is a picture of Walter leaving the cartoon room and heading to the Pre-op area. The sleepy meds they gave him are kicking in by now.

It should be an interesting weekend.

Both Ben and Sam tested positive for strep and this morning Tommy was complaining, as well. Greg is thinking that if Tommy tests positive for strep, that he’s going to get testing, too. Better to get the antibiotics going now so that next week we can all enjoy turkey pain free!

Homemade Pie for XM Listeners (and links!)

Actually, this pie isn’t for XM Listeners. But we’re glad you’re here anyway! Welcome to all new folks who are here after listening to The Catholics Next Door on either Sirius 159 or now on XM 117. How cool is that!?!

But this is an actual pie, the pie talked about on yesterday’s program. This cherry pie is an old family favorite for some good friends of ours and our son, Sam really wanted this pie for his 11th birthday.

For cherry pie, this was really good. I don’t even like cherry pie. I’m so glad Sam loved it. Thanks Linda!!

And here are links to some of the guests and things we’ve been discussing lately:

Again, welcome to all XM 117 listeners, as well as our already good friends from Sirius! Very glad you’re here 🙂

My coffee has eyeballs and my livingroom is now portable!

Does this ever happen to you? Perhaps it’s just a senseo thing.

Here’s the model I made of our livingroom.  It’s collapsable so that it would fit in my purse.  I went on to tape pieces of transparency film over each “wall” so that I could draw different art concepts on the walls and then wipe them away without actually drawing on the photo itself.  I might not be able to decorate, but I can at least do things like this!

Lightsaber Friday

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a brand new weekly television series, premieres tonight on The Cartoon Network. Greg is quite excited about it, mainly because it’ll be the first time he gets to experience a brand new Star Wars production with his boys.

Until now, he’s only gotten to expose them to the original flicks, but we’re very hopeful that this new Star Wars TV series will become a part of our Friday Family Fun Night tradition, at least for our older two boys.

To make it even more exciting, during today’s broadcast a package arrived for Greg from Cartoon Network with press materials and a screener DVD of the new show.

As shown in the image above, the disk arrived in a much bigger than expected box.

Inside the box, was a new lightsaber – with sounds and spring action!

Greg was excited.

We had a super fun show today, and not just because of the Star Wars surprise package.

Joining us as usual on Fridays was our good friend Father Leo Patalinghug. Be sure to check out his webisodes over at Grace Before Meals, including the webisode we discussed with the recipe for grilled beer sausage!

In addition to Star Wars, we also talked about one of Greg’s other favorite subjects: Beer!

David Krebs from Manhattan Beer Distributors gave us some great suggestions for new brews. And thanks to listener Steve (couldn’t remember his name the other day – sorry Steve!) for suggesting Hale’s Pale Ale again. If you’re interested in what makes different beers have their unique tastes, be sure to check out the awesome frequently asked questions page for PDFs on different types of beer.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone! I’m sure we’ll be posting miscellaneous photos here until we talk to you again on Monday’s program.

Greg’s Morning Routine and Behind the Scenes of the 9/26/08 Show!

A show wouldn’t be the same unless Greg got in his morning stroll with a cup of coffee in hand just minutes before we go on the air. Friday looks to be a promising day weather wise for us Southerners. Here’s Greg, at about 8 minutes before we go on the air, finishing up his daily jaunt up and down our street:

When we break at the top of every hour, Greg usually scrambles to the kitchen to heat more water for another cup of tea. Our studio desk often has the look of sudden desertion.

To make sure our timer in in sync with the studio in New York, we’ve started using an atomic clock widget on our Macs:

And during one break, Greg was rather naively hopeful that he would quickly find a component tower in the latest IKEA catalog.

Have a great weekend, everybody! Major thanks to Father Leo Patalinghug from Grace Before Meals for joining us on today’s program!

Wacky Willits Wednesday – 9/24/08

Lots of fun on today’s show! Thanks for hanging out with us. Here are some photos taken during (or right before or after) the program.

Here’s Greg stapling shownotes. Minutes before going on the air!

Pregnant Jennifer, knowing we’ll be talking with wine expert Lettie Teague, and knowing she can’t have any wine for another five months.

Lettie Teague’s “Educating Peter: How Anybody Can Become An (Almost) Instant Wine Expert.” Super fun book! And Jennifer just gets water.

Greg shows his DECADES (pronounced DECK-AIDS) of his current all-twine knotted Rosary. Get a free one of your own from Rosary Army. Jennifer is actually doing her job in the background.

Grilled PB, Chocolate & Cheese Sandwich

As caller Mike from Texas suggested on today’s broadcast of The Catholics Next Door, we made the Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-American Cheese sandwich on Wheat. It was not bad. We were actually surprised that we were able to eat the whole sandwich. Below, the sandwich is cooking away with butter spread on the outside of the bread.

But we make good on our promises. If we say we’re gonna do it, by golly, we’re gonna do it! Now the big question is: Will you dare to try it yourself? If so, be sure and leave us your sandwich review in our comments section. Below, the completed sandwich:

Jennifer takes a tentative bite. Would this be a disaster, or a brand new treat we really didn’t need to know about?

And finally, she contemplates the rich taste and texture. Not too bad! Probably won’t be a recurring treat like peanut and bacon is for Greg, but it’s still pretty good!

Big bread is a Willits’ Family Favorite!

A few times a year, I like to bake a fresh loaf of bread. It’s called Jewish Egg Bread. It always rises so nicely in the oven and it appeases the children when I serve 15 bean soup – a recipe they can’t handle. This bread is incredibly soft and warm and comforting. Yummmo!

When dinner was over, all that was left was one lonely slice.

Other pleasant duties of a radio producer’s job

“Yo, Adam the Producer, I’m not feeling funny this morning. Tickle my feet, will ya?”

Greg tries to get comfortable

I suppose Greg is just a wee bit too tall for laying down on our studio futon.